The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 23, 2011

Whaley absence felt, but defense more hampered by injuries

NORMAN — Oklahoma played without four starters Saturday night. The only absence that affected the offense was running back Dominique Whaley. He was in uniform, but did not play due to an illness.

The defense took a much bigger hit. Cornerback Jamell Fleming wasn’t in uniform due to a knee injury. Defensive tackle Casey Walker also was in street clothes due to a hand injury he suffered last week against Kansas. Middle linebacker Tom Wort was in uniform, but did not play. OU used sophomore Corey Nelson at middle linebacker. He and weakside linebacker Travis Lewis were the only linebackers the Sooners used most of the night.

Lynn pulled

Gabe Lynn made his first start of the season in place of Fleming. It was a night he probably won’t want to remember. He was pulled from the game after giving up a 48-yard pass. It was the fourth time he’d been burned deep Saturday night.

OU moved safety Aaron Colvin to cornerback and inserted Sam Proctor at safety. The move coincided with the Sooners’ comeback, but too much damage had already been done.

Second-quarter disaster

Texas Tech ran away and hid from OU in the second quarter. The Red Raiders scored 17 points and built a 24-7 halftime lead.

It was easy to blame the defense for what happened. Texas Tech gained 194 yards on 33 plays. But OU’s offense helped to make it all possible. The Sooners ran only 10 plays from scrimmage and failed to gain a first down. Landry Jones was 2-for-7 for 33 yards in the quarter.

Hunnicutt off target

Michael Hunnicutt yanked a 39-yard field goal attempt wide left at the start of the second quarter and missed a 28-yard field goal with 2:52 left in the game by clanking it off the far upright when kicking from the left hash.

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